Is There Marginalization with the Death of a Loved One?
With all the talk of racism, culture wars, cancel culture and division on every corner, there seems to be one group that maybe a large, but silent partner in this audience. It is those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Especially over the past couple of years most everyone we encounter has experienced the loss of a loved one. This has created somewhat of a “grief crisis”. What I mean is that if we have been affected by grief, we know that the journey is not the same for everyone. It is one of the most emotional rollercoasters in life we can ride, and the sad part is that I believe that unintentionally that those who have been on the receiving end of the loss of a loved one, are many times marginalized by their friends, family, coworkers and employers. I say it is unintentional because the words and actions that the grieving party expects and wants seems to be lost in a proverbial Bermuda Triangle.
Below are some statistics that were published prior to the Covid outbreak. This shows the dramatic financial costs related to death and it far outweighs any other category. So what would you expect that the emotional costs are when the right words and actions seem so unbeknownst to the vast majority?
The newest stats since Covid suggests that those costs have accelerated to over $100 billion in the workplace.
So what can be done to overcome this?? A combination of awareness and education I believe is necessary for us to begin adjusting these costs not only financially but also emotionally.
An event that has occurred in the last few days is an example of what SHOULD not be done in similarity of attitudes. The ongoing feud between Ron Desantis and Disney should be an example of what should not be done. This is what I mean. If you are familiar with the topic “Disney self-government in peril after Florida house vote” as an unbiased outsider one can clearly see that this is a losing game for everyone. Due to the strong beliefs and opinions of both sides of this story, everyone will lose. We should learn from ancient history and current history that it is impossible to legislate morality. Therefore, all parties lose.
So how do these two topics relate? For me personally I believe that we must recognize that all people have value and purpose. No matter who they are or what they’ve encountered, everyone should be approached with love, dignity and respect. This further relates in that awareness and education are the answer. On the education side we must ensure that it is not biased education or otherwise we find ourselves back at the same starting point.
Just as there is a large tidal wave of marginalization with the Disney versus Desantis subject, those who are grieving in death are marginalized mostly by uneducated and unintentional motives.
We have many resources that we can direct you to, to educate oneself to a healthier mindset when it comes to the grief crisis. Contact us through one of our many outlets on how we can make our lives and this world a much more inclusive environment.
April 8, 2022
Should I Let My Significant Other Know I Struggle With Anxiety?
Sharing this thought with one’s significant other certainly on the surface may not seem like a masculine or provide the protective image that a man might want to portray. And it could definitely cause strain on a relationship as one’s mate may feel insecure or threatened by the possibilities. So do we as men share or do we do the normal manly thing and operate without instructions? If we decide not to share and self delegate and designate, the following is the question we have to address. That question is, can we use our anxiety to build character and resilience? The other thing we may wonder is how big of a problem is this? Am I one of the few that is battling this anxiety disorder? and actually it is a magnanimous problem. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, these are the statistics of those who have officially been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in the US alone. 19.1% of all adults in the US or over 40 million people have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Seven percent of children have been officially diagnosed. This clearly doesn’t account for the overwhelming cases that are not reported or diagnosed. When you put this into perspective it’s no wonder we have little to no peace in the world. Yet there are experts, experienced and exposed individuals who believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel to a place of better character while strengthening one’s resilience along the path.
S.E. (Scott) Huffaker, the author of the newly released book “Lost Arrows -Coping With The Death of a Child” is an advocate and proponent for pushing thru the anxiety to become a more functional you! In his book Scott shares his story of how his son who was 32, unexpectedly passed away in August of 2021. And he credits past experiences of not being able to see his son for years on end due to custody issues as helping him to learn how to deal with his son’s absence. The pain, anxiety, fear, dread and uneasiness that he encountered for almost half of his son’s life had to be dealt with. He had moved on from his divorce and had a wife and two other children that he needed to support. Scott believes that grief can be somewhat of a deeper level of anxiety. A person dealing with grief has those same feelings of fear, dread and uneasiness. In his book he shares how cultures and those in times past dealt with death, grief and the emotions involved. In the rest of his book he presents a menu of items that one can utilize to become that more functional you.
The following are some of those ideas that he shares and as he is writing his new book he shares some things that he has found that even catapult that level of wellness to a higher plane of peacefulness.
In Scott’s view, building character and resilience in the face of anxiety condenses down to these three things:
He utilizes these two acronyms of the word anxiety to demonstrate how important attitude and perspective are:
Xenophobic – in that one becomes so self absorbed in their anxiety others are perceived as foreigners.
E ager – no sense of peace or calmness
Y obbish – aggressive and lashing out at others due to the internal struggle
A ffirmative – confident, strong minded
N owness – operating in the now, knowing this is the only time we have control over
X anadu – mentally & emotionally in an idyllic, peaceful, happy & magnificent place
I ntelligent – one feels intelligent and accomplished for mastering their emotions
E nthusiastic – every moment is an adventure
T imely – because one understands what’s important now
Y are – sailing the seas of life, our ship is easily manageable
Per Scott, we can choose at any given moment which of these above perspectives to embrace.
He further lays out several other actions, mindsets and maps to migrate.
- Mindfulness – this is accomplished by having a nowness mindset and properly managing our time with timeblocks along with other tools.
- Affirmations – paired with prayer and/or meditation to help one stay on task throughout the day.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy – in his book he lays out one method, yet there are several books and methods that are available for one’s preferences.
- Sleep habits – getting the proper rest one needs is mandatory for mental wellness
- Dietary habits & Exercise – what we consume and what we do with what we consume dramatically affects how we feel physically and emotionally. Having a balanced regimen in this area will help us escalate our wellness.
- Tuning into your mind – Scott states that the #2 book that he believes everyone should read now is “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer. Understanding your conscious state and awareness versus the mind (your onboard computer) is imperative in managing your emotional state. It is this prescription that will truly elevate one to a higher level of peace and satisfaction.
In the end our mental wellness, relief from anxiety, building character and becoming more resilient many times hinges on our choices. Do we choose to be better or do we settle in where we are presently? That is the ultimate question!
April 8, 2022
When one seeks to define and search out self love, it may on the surface seem like a quest of selfish ambition. Yet to achieve that summit of self love one must first climb their own mountain that may very well stand in one’s way. The following is what I mean by this statement. I believe we are all born with an innate sense of goodness. And to realize, understand and embrace that mindset there are some steps that are necessary.
- First we have to have a true understanding of our psyche and how it works. Think of it this way. We have an awareness or consciousness that is truly separate and apart from our brain or thinking processes. If we are candid with ourselves we all talk to ourselves more than we talk to anyone else. That rhetoric between our mind(our onboard computer)and ourselves is simply that “rhetoric”. What we choose to accept from our brain as worthwhile rhetoric is our complete and total choice. Our onboard computer sends us feedback based on what it may presume is happening around us. But how we react or respond to that self talk is totally up to us. We must learn to cipher all that it sends and allow only those things that provide a source of true evidence of existence. Yet even then we must let that energy pass thru and around us as the wind does against the sail of a sailboat. That leads us to the next step.
- To love ourselves we must first commit to being committed to happiness. Happiness is a choice. When we choose to be happy in all situations we can love ourselves much easier and deeper.
- Next we have to be committed to loving others. Think of this as viewing all the beauty that nature shows us. When we view the beautiful things in nature, admire them and fall in love with them, that is exactly how we should view every single person in this world. When we see them talk to them we must see their beauty of a natural proportion. This cannot hinge on beliefs, habits, race, religion, sexuality or any other segregation that society likes to place on individuals. We must love unconditionally like that of a loving and irreplaceable mother to a child.
- Fourthly we must have a passionate heart for helping others. Not only as individuals but also surrounding ourselves with a community of people who have a deep seeded desire to help others. We can’t just say it, we have to do it. It must be part of our daily habit and mission.
- To achieve this we have to remind ourselves daily of our habits, intentions and mission. We can easily do this by a daily ritual of verbally saying this through affirmations.
- As we do these things daily to continue to climb to the peak of the mountain of self love, we need to journal our progress and mission. Some of these things should be our successes in helping others, journaling how our community of helpers have helped others and most importantly listing the many things that we are always grateful for including the things we are grateful for on that particular day.
- Finally to reach the summit we have to realize what time it is. The only time we have any control over is what is in front of us. We always need to wear our Rolex Now Watch. It is the most valuable of all watches, knowing that the time is NOW for all things good, loving and worthwhile. When we can completely, without judgment or prejudice love all men and women then we can truly love ourselves unconditionally.
March 14, 2022
One of my favorite authors is Hal Elrod of the Miracle Morning. On Saturday he was talking about a book named The Untethered Soul. So liking what he has to say I downloaded it. Wow!!! Although I had come to some of these conclusions on my own, I had not taken it to the 20,000 leagues under the sea level that the author of the book did. The overall concept of the book is about managing the noise in your head. If we are candid with ourselves we talk to ourselves internally more than anyone and sometimes its so loud in there you need a megaphone to rise above the noise. Yet after listening to about half the book so far I had what I felt was a personal epiphany for me. What he says in short is to listen but yet let go of all that passes thru the corridors of your mind. The epiphany for me was the reminder of two things. The classic song by England Dan and John Ford Coley, Love is the Answer and of course 1 Corinthians 13. The bridge most especially from their song:
And when you feel afraid
Love one another
When you’ve lost your way
Love one another
And when you’re all alone
Love one another
And when you’re far from home
Love one another
And when you’re down and out
Love one another
And when your hopes run out
Love one another
And when you need a friend
Love one another
And when you’re near the end
Love, we got to love,
We got to love one another
and of course the great chapter of 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a ringing brass gong or a clashing cymbal. 2And if I have the gift of prophecy and I know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3And if I parcel out all my possessions, and if I hand over my body in order that I will be burned, but do not have love, it benefits me nothing.4Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not boast, it does not become conceited, 5it does not behave dishonorably, it is not selfish, it does not become angry, it does not keep a record of wrongs, 6it does not rejoice at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will pass away. If there are tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but whenever the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside the things of a child. 12For now we see through a mirror indirectly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know completely, just as I have also been completely known. 13And now these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.When the noise comes thru …. Focus on Love ONLY!!!!
March 13, 2022
When you lose a loved one you tend to appreciate life more so than before. At least I have. Not that I took it for granted, but more that I realize the value of every moment and it should be utilized to its maximum. As we see what is going on around us in the world with conflicts and war, I yearn for a time when the majority of all people can embrace the concept that EVERY Person has Value and Purpose. When we as a citizenry of this planet can fully embrace that concept, we will have graduated to a more peaceful purpose. Most likely I am preaching to the choir to those that read this. But yet it starts with us and we can put it into action and humbly share the concept with all those we come in contact with. As you know life is too short not to make the most of it! Have a fantastic week!
March 5, 2022
It’s the day before Dylan’s birthday and I did all I could to bring to fruition what he inspired me to write. Tomorrow we will officially launch the kickoff of the Lost Arrows – Coping with the Death of a Child. I decided from the beginning I wanted to let the proceeds go towards redmountaingrace.com . So that is the goal to donate 50% of the net proceeds to them and the other 50% will be used to market the book. The other goals of this mission are to help create physical and virtual groups for those families that have lost children. Although I don’t consider us victims, I do believe it is one of the biggest emotional pains one can encounter in this life. Also I want to collectively as a group come up with a word that defines parents who have lost a child. Join our group if you want to be part of our mission and/or you need a community to grow and migrate to a more functional you. Best regards!